«Previous    Next»
1875 Steam Car Still Runs
What is believed to be the oldest, self-propelled passenger vehicle in the world, the 135-year-old Grenville steam carriage can still run down the road at up to 20 miles per hour. In 2000 it did a 90-mile run in under 8 hours at just over 6 mph.
The carriage was designed around 1875 by Robert Neville Grenville, an engineer trained on railroad locomotives. With the help of a friend and fellow engineer, he came up with a 236-cu. in. side-valve twin cylinder.
A coal-fired boiler supplies the steam. On the 90-mile run in 2000, the Grenville used 500 lbs. of coal and 200 gal. of water. At 10,000 btu's/lb., it was the equivalent of 40 gal. of gasoline.
The 4,500-lb. machine rides on three solid wood wheels. Overall length is 11 1/2 ft. with a width of 5 ft. 7 in. and a height of 8 ft. 3 in.
The boiler is designed to raise steam quickly and provide it steadily to the pump. It produces 120 psi and has a 35-gal. capacity. The water tank holds 50 gal.
As gas engines came into common use, the original owner of the car lost interest and it was used as a stationary engine at a cider mill. The Grenville was completely overhauled in 1936 and modifications were made to its boiler in 1970. Today it's demonstrated at various car shows and special events and on display at the National Motor Museum in the U.K.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, National Motor Museum, John Montagu Building, Beaulieu, Brockenhurst, Hampshire, United Kingdom SO42 7ZN (ph 01590 614603; www.beaulieu.co.uk)

  Click here to download page story appeared in.

  Click here to read entire issue

To read the rest of this story, download this issue below or click here to register with your account number.
Order the Issue Containing This Story
2009 - Volume #33, Issue #6